Mobile App Planning: How It Helps Transforming an Idea Into a Reality?

Yogesh Pant
Apr 22, 2024


It’s 2024 - we are moving faster than ever in terms of technology, with mobile apps ruling the world. Their appeal lies not only in the convenience they afford to end users but also in the manifold benefits they offer to businesses. But do you know everything starts from a mere idea? Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and many other big names were all just ideas before becoming the most loved mobile apps. But what put them to the heights of success is the meticulous planning that goes into their development and execution.

Mobile app planning is an integral part of the app development process, or we can say it’s the first step where our app idea starts to take shape. No matter how prestigious or experienced the mobile app development company you choose to work with on your project, the likelihood of achieving your desired outcomes diminishes significantly if you lack a perfect plan.

In simple words, mobile app development planning is a roadmap that guides every stage of the development process. If you’re someone looking for your business’s digital transformation but are overwhelmed with the information available on the internet, you will surely find this blog post purposeful. We will discuss the importance of mobile app planning alongside how it can help transform your app idea into a compelling reality. 

What Is Mobile App Planning?

Mobile App Planning is the first stage of the app development process, which involves creating a roadmap that outlines the project's key objectives, strategies, and timelines. It includes a comprehensive understanding of the target audience, the app’s core functionality, and the competitive landscape. 

This roadmap serves as a guide for all subsequent stages of development, from UI/UX design and coding to testing and deployment. Without this crucial planning phase, the development process may lack direction and efficiency, potentially leading to countless iterations.  

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Key Statistics Showing the Importance of Mobile App Planning

  • Recent research shows that the Google Play Store sees the launch of 3,214 new Android apps, while the Apple App Store introduces 1,044 new iOS apps every day. (Source: 42matters)
  • However, not all these apps succeed. According to data, a staggering 99.5% of consumer apps and 87% of business apps end up being failures. (Source: Fyresite)
  • A study published in the Journal of Management Studies highlights the importance of planning in business success. The study found that businesses with a plan grow 30% faster than those without a plan.
  • An online survey by Tony Crutcher Ltd. revealed that 62% of businesses had a mobile app, but 59% of them lacked a communication plan, and 54% lacked a promotional plan. 


Importance of Mobile App Planning and Ideation for Businesses

The mobile app industry is on a steady growth trajectory, with more businesses and innovators eager to make their mark before it becomes overly crowded. According to VentureBeat, the industry is projected to expand by 270% to a staggering $189 billion by 2020. You will be surprised to know that Gaming apps remain the most sought-after category, accounting for over half the market share.

However, the journey to creating a profitable and valuable mobile app is more complex than it might seem. The first step towards a successful launch is crafting a detailed business plan for your app. This plan acts as a roadmap for everyone involved in the project and provides insights on how to introduce the app to the market for maximum profitability.


Creating an effective mobile app business plan is a relatively simple process. The plan will give you a clear picture of your app, along with the marketing and financial logistics. Regardless of whether you choose to bootstrap your development or not, a solid business plan typically includes the following elements:

  • An overview of the app
  • Unique selling proposition
  • Market analysis
  • Estimated marketing expenses
  • Revenue forecasts
  • Marketing plan and launch strategy
  • Projected profit and loss statements
  • Break-even analysis
  • Cash flow forecast

How to Create a Plan for Your App Development Process?


Planning well-planned strategies can help you speed up your entire development process. Here are some steps on how to create a working plan for your mobile app development project:

Step 1: Formulating a Strategy for Your Mobile App

The initial stage of app development is crucial as it transforms your idea into a working product. A robust strategy and detailed planning are required to formulate use cases and include exact functional requirements.

Product Roadmap

Start by drafting a plan for mobile app development, commonly referred to as a product roadmap. This document highlights vital components such as vision, mission, strategy, product features, timeline, technology, team, etc., for efficient and timely execution.

Product Structure

If budget, resources, or time constrain you, consider developing a minimum viable product (MVP) to kickstart the initial launch.

Product Team

Part of the planning and strategy for mobile app development involves identifying the necessary skills for your project. For instance, Android and iOS platforms use different tech stacks. If you aim for your app to be compatible with both platforms, ensure that your mobile development team comprises both Android and iOS developers.

Step 2: Define Your App’s Specifications

Before you start your app development journey, it's crucial to have clear and well-defined specifications for your app. These criteria form part of your business strategy, which outlines your intentions and the methods you'll use to achieve them.

App Objectives

The objectives you set when planning your mobile app will guide you in determining the features to incorporate and the development and design approach. 

The objectives can range from the functionality you want your app to have to the marketing strategies you'll use. It's crucial to take time to identify these. Consider the following:

  • What is the function of your app?
  • How will it make the lives of its users easier?
  • How will it address the issues faced by its users?
  • What is your marketing strategy for your target demographic?

The answers to these questions will help you delineate the objectives you need to concentrate on. Once you've agreed on them, prioritize your goals to know where to begin.

Who are Your Potential Users?

Gaining insight into your potential users is critical to your app's development. In addition to demographic data such as age, gender, profession, and location, you should also understand your users' needs, obstacles, requirements, and roles.

You should also keep track of other qualitative data, such as the technologies your users use, the platforms (Android/ iOS) they're comfortable with, and their preferred app features.

Step 3: Brainstorm Potential Solutions

Having identified your target users and their challenges, the next step is to find ways your app can address these issues. This involves a creative process of idea generation with your team. 

A valuable technique for this process is the use of visual aids such as mind maps. Mind maps' unique advantage is their ability to enhance efficiency by providing a structured platform for the unrestricted flow of ideas.

Once a mind map is completed, centered around a single theme - in this instance, the problem your user is encountering - it provides a comprehensive snapshot of the possible approaches to the situation, enabling swift decision-making.

Step 4: Draw User Interactions

To decide on the functionalities and features to incorporate into your application, it's crucial to understand the user's journey within it. Is it an existing user aiming to modify their account details or a newcomer intending to set up an account?

Use case diagrams can represent every possible interaction a user might have with your application. These diagrams essentially depict the operations of a system.

This method provides a straightforward way to communicate to the developer the features that need attention and demonstrate the issues you aim to address to your stakeholders.

Alternatively, you can create Flowcharts to illustrate the process a user follows to accomplish a task through the app. This approach will significantly assist you in understanding the app's intended operation.

Step 5: Begin Drafting Your App

Having a clear understanding of how your users might engage with your application, the next step is to give it shape. This involves transforming your concept into visual representations that will eventually become interactive screens in the final phase.

This stage allows you to determine the number of screens your app will have and their appearance. Arranging them logically will give you a clearer understanding of how the app will function.


Most applications need to gather and utilize some form of data. A practical method to visually organize this is through an Entity Relationship (ER) Diagram. This tool helps you pinpoint the essential elements you wish to gather and their interconnections. Despite sounding intimidating initially, ER Diagrams are quite straightforward to use.


With your user flows and data requirements identified, it's time to outline the app's appearance and operation. Wireframes are basic sketches of your app's interface. They illustrate its functionality without focusing on aspects like color, positioning, and other stylistic details. At this point, the emphasis is more on functionality rather than aesthetics.

Architecture Diagrams

When explaining the workings of your app to external parties like stakeholders, you can utilize architecture diagrams such as block diagrams or network diagrams. These diagrams simplify intricate processes that might need clarification for those not well-versed in technology.

Step 6: Plan Your Marketing Strategy

Your promotional efforts primarily influence the number of users drawn to your app. Prior to strategizing, it's crucial to understand your standing relative to your competitors. This involves assessing the advantages and disadvantages of your app in comparison to those of your competitors, as well as identifying potential opportunities and challenges in the marketplace.

10 Common Mistakes to Avoid While Planning a Mobile App Development


Mobile app developers try their best to avoid errors during the development process. However, they sometimes unintentionally make common mistakes. Being aware of these pitfalls before planning a mobile app can save significant time and money and increase the likelihood of success.

Here are some common pitfalls that every developer should steer clear of during the mobile app development process:

1. Overemphasis on Budget

Companies often primarily focus on the budget, neglecting other crucial aspects. This approach is a common mistake that can lead to failure. Hiring a team lacking expertise simply because they fit within your budget can jeopardize your mobile app development project. Conversely, exceeding your budget can also result in a total loss.

2. Ignoring User Feedback

Before hiring a freelancer or a development company, it's best to consider the opinions of their past and current clients. Evaluate their feedback and make your hiring decision based on their experiences. But if you ignore this step and hire the team just because they seem affordable and their claims are superlative, you’re probably making the worst mistake. 

3. Inadequate Research

Deciding to develop an app isn't a decision to be made over a casual cup of coffee. It requires extensive research. You need to investigate various factors, including:

  • The current standing of your company,
  • The purpose of the app,
  • The current market scenario,
  • Your competitors,
  • Pricing strategies,
  • The cost of app development,
  • The potential return on investment from the app.

The list is extensive. Investing time in research can save you from months, or even years, of potential frustration in the future.

4. Inadequate Budget Planning

Effective budget planning is one of the most important aspects of successful app development. It's vital to establish an approximate cost of your app from the outset. The cost for each development phase should be determined prior to commencement. Your budget should also include funds for unforeseen costs that may crop up. Always begin with realistic budget projections.

5. Neglecting to Develop an MVP

Developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) allows developers to test the app and assess its performance. In the MVP development stages, the app will only incorporate essential features. An MVP should not be viewed as a mere experiment; this is a common misstep developers should avoid. It's a method of app development that emphasizes the primary component of the app.

6. Overlooking UI/UX Design Aspects

The user interface of an app should never be overlooked. A developer needs to have a clear vision of the intended app usage. Users often take no time in uninstalling apps with poor UI/UX. Users have certain anticipations when they launch an app. Take cues from the most successful and popular apps currently available as a guideline.

7. Inadequate Arrangement of Communication

The downfall of many applications can be traced back to insufficient communication throughout the development process. To tackle this issue, it's crucial to place a high emphasis on communication from the get-go. 

It's preferable to reiterate your directives multiple times rather than leaving the developer to make assumptions. Depending on the magnitude of the app development project, teams could schedule meetings on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

8. Overburdening the App with Excessive Features

Just as traffic congestion is universally disliked, an app crammed with too many features and functions can become difficult for the user to navigate. It's best to focus on the essential features that your app requires to operate effectively.

Overloading the app with features can lead to issues such as slower response times and increased phone storage usage. Studies indicate that one in four individuals will uninstall an app due to insufficient storage space on their phone.

9. Hiring an Unexperienced Development Team

Every app has unique needs, particularly when it comes to the developer's experience and skill set. Many promising ideas have failed simply because an inappropriate development team was selected to create the mobile app. This could potentially be the costliest mistake you could make. 

For instance, if you employ a freelancer to develop the app and they suddenly stop responding to your messages, you're left unable to track them, resulting in delays in your app's delivery.

10. Avoid Replicating Your Website in Your Mobile App

Mobile apps tend to outperform mobile websites due to their superior functionality and features that a mobile website cannot provide. Hence, replicating your mobile website in your mobile app is a futile expenditure of time and resources. 

If the app offers no differentiation from the mobile site, there's no incentive for your customer to download the app. While you can maintain the same theme, color scheme, fonts, and branding image in your app, it should offer distinct features and functions.


With increasing demand for mobile apps, many businesses are captivated by their potential. However, without a clear understanding of the app development process, they often stumble before they even begin. The good news is that the steps provided here can guide you toward a more practical approach to your app development.

These steps emphasize the importance of focusing on the end-users and staying updated with the latest tools, technologies, and industry standards. 

If you have an idea for a mobile app but are unsure of how to proceed, it might be time to seek professional help. Consider reaching out to a reputable technology company like Mtoag Technologies, which can help transform your mobile app concept into a reality.

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